The 101 Funniest Movies, Part Two

Awhile back, I wrote that the screenwriters’ organization I belong to, the Writers Guild of America, was compiling a list of the 101 funniest movies ever made.  Each writer was invited to nominate 15, and the ballots were compiled to come up with the top 101.  The results are in, so here are the top 10 vote-getters.  The envelope, please:

1.       Annie Hall

2.      Some Like It Hot

3.      Groundhog Day

4.      Airplane!

5.      Tootsie

6.      Young Frankenstein

7.      Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

8.     Blazing Saddles

9.      Monty Python and the Holy Grail

10.  National Lampoon’s Animal House

11.   This Is Spinal Tap

12.  The Producers

13.  The Big Lebowski

14.  Ghostbusters

15.   When Harry Met Sally

If you’d like to see the entire list of 101, it’s at

Now, compare those final results with the 15 I nominated, in no particular order:

The Pink Panther
A Shot In The Dark
The Graduate
The Producers
Caddy Shack
Weekend At Bernie’s
Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
Broadcast News
Driving Miss Daisy
The Long, Long Trailer
Home Alone
My Cousin Vinny
Mrs. Doubtfire
The Birdcage

As you can see, only one of my nominees, The Producers, made the top 15.  8 of my 15 made the final cut of 101, but those were mostly far down the list.  It would seem that my sense of humor when it comes to movies is woefully out of touch with that of my fellow screenwriters.

When I shared my list of 15 with you last year, I said that what makes a movie funny is – to me at least – great comedic acting.  To be funny, a movie script has to start with humorous words, and that’s what screenwriters contribute.  But a fine comedic actor can take those words and turn them into something much more.  That’s why 2 Peter Sellers films are on my list.  I stand by that.  It reinforces my notion that one of the best parts of working in film -- or stage, for that matter -- is the collaborative nature of the work.  When a host of talented people bring their creativity to storytelling, it produces something unique and special.

You’ll have your own list of funny movies, and your own reasons why you think they make the grade.  I welcome your comments.